Defense

July 26, 2013

CNO defends LCS program in wake of GAO skepticism

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert tours the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard to view the construction progress of multiple Freedom-class variants of the littoral combat ship (LCS) in various stages of completion. While touring the facilities, Greenert also observed improvements made to the shipyard’s manufacturing facilities, which has resulted in the more efficient production of future LCS models.

The Littoral Combat Ship program was under a microscope this week after news of an electrical problem resulted in a brief loss of power for USS Freedom (LCS 1) over the weekend and the Government Accountability Office released a critical, 72-page report today scrutinizing the cost of the program.

However, top Navy leadership including the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert view the performance problems as common for any first-in-class platform–especially in an innovative platform such as the LCS with its interchangeable modular payload design enabling the ship to conform to its battle space.

Greenert spoke about the GAO report that was leaked days in advance during a Pentagon press brief held July 19 to discuss the status of the Navy with the Pentagon Press Corps. In his comments Greenert compared the LCS with debuts of previous first- in-class ships and said there was initial skepticism with those platforms too.

“My view is, what we are finding is not that significantly different from the Perry class of the ?60s and 1970s, the Spruance class of the ?70s, nor even the Arleigh Burke class when it comes to the size and the impact on it,” Greenert said defending the initial hiccups of the LCS.

Not one for excuses and understanding of our nation’s budget constraints Greenert added, “But we need to be vigilant, we need to follow up, and we have work to do.”

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert tours the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard to view the construction progress of multiple Freedom-class variants of the littoral combat ship in various stages of completion. While touring the facilities, Greenert also observed improvements made to the shipyard’s manufacturing facilities, that has resulted in the more efficient production of future LCS models.

For CNO, that work continued yesterday, July 24 less than a week after the Pentagon press brief as he toured the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard July 24 to observe the progress of several Freedom-class variants of the LCS currently under construction.

During his tour, Greenert walked through several of the $74 million improved Marinette Marine shipbuilding facilities to see firsthand future LCSs: (LCS 5) Milwaukee, (LCS 7) Detroit, (LCS 9) Little Rock, and (LCS 11) Sioux City not only being built, but being built better with integrated feedback from industry and Sailors in the fleet.

President and CEO of Marinette Marine Chuck Goddard said efficiencies in the building process resulting from upgrades to the shipyard will drive down costs per unit of the LCS over time while the fleet?s feedback is resulting in a more superior product for our Sailors charged with protecting the world?s sea lanes.

“I?m very impressed,” Greenert told a group of Marinette reporters following his tour of the shipyard.

Greenert was equally impressed by the communication between the LCS industry and Sailors in the fleet who?s valuable feedback is enabling Marinette Marine to change designs and manufacturing processes as necessary to fix issues with current LCS models and prevent them from being integrated into future LCSs.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert tours the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard to view the construction progress of multiple Freedom-class variants of the littoral combat ship in various stages of completion. While touring the facilities, Greenert also observed improvements made to the shipyard’s manufacturing facilities, which has resulted in the more efficient production of future LCS models.

“We have a team effort,” Greenert said about the Sailors who operate the ships and the shipbuilders in Marinette Marine. “Their feedback and connection with what Freedom is undergoing, with what Fort Worth is undergoing back into the design is impressive and it turns quickly into the shipyard.”

Greenert reiterated to the Marinette reporters that historically, it’s not uncommon to have to modify a first-in-class ship’s design once it becomes operational despite best efforts to fix and find all of the bugs during the testing period.

“It really isn’t about the quality of the workmanship, I think the question is what decisions the Navy has made to build this type of ship, the decisions we collectively made as to how we were going to build them in sequence, design and changes, that’s not unusual,” Greenert said. “We need to take them deliberately and seriously and we are in as much of a partnership as we can with the General Accounting Office.”

Ultimately, the Navy is committed to the LCS Greenert said.

“This class of ship is so important to us, for its modularity, its speed, its volume,” Greenert said.

“I came here to see how the changes are coming around, what is the relationship more long term,” Greenert said to reporters at the conclusion of his confidence visit and tour of Marinette Marine. “We’re only in the starting pieces of this long program.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 15, 2014

News: Navy identifies pilot presumed dead in crash - A Navy fighter pilot presumed dead after two fighter jets crashed in the far western Pacific Ocean has been identified.   Business: Boeing eyes 737-700 solution for new JSTARS - Boeing is officially planning a variant of its 737-700 commercial jetliner as a competitor for the Air Force’s...
 
 

News Briefs September 15, 2014

Australia contributing planes for anti-IS campaign Australia is preparing to contribute 600 troops and up to 10 military aircraft to the increasingly aggressive campaign against the Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sept. 14. Abbott said Australia was responding to a formal request from the United States for specific...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Lockheed Martin conducts flight tests of aircraft laser turret for DARPA

AFRL photograph The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret that Lockheed Martin is developing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory has completed initial flight testing. T...
 

 

Lockheed Martin advances live, virtual, constructive training in flight test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jvXmOW8L3mU Lockheed Martin successfully tested a new solution for integrated live, virtual and constructive training during a flight demonstration at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas. During the flight test, a pilot flying in a live F-16 engaged in a synthetic training exercise with a pilot flying as wing...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover arrives at Martian mountain

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity n...
 
 

Raytheon begins full rate production on TALON Laser Guided Rockets

Under a $117 million contract awarded to Raytheon, Raytheon Missile Systems has begun production of the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. In 2013, the Armed Forces General Headquarters of the United Arab Emirates awarded Tawazun a contract to procure the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. “Full rate production of the TALON LGR is a significant milestone for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>